Fed Focuses On Stanching Wall Street's Meltdown

Federal Reserve officials meet Tuesday to decide whether to lower a key interest rate in an effort to assuage the financial system. Meanwhile, the Fed has pumped $120 billion into the financial markets during the past two days and said said it is ready to provide more liquidity if needed.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with the Fed's latest moves.

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INSKEEP: Federal Reserve officials are meeting today to decide whether or not to lower a key interest rate. As always, they want to send the right signal to the financial system, but today it's considered especially important. Following yesterday's 500-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Fed has taken other measures to relieve the crisis already. In the past two days it has pumped 120 billion dollars into the financial markets. The Fed also says it stands ready to provide more liquidity - that's cash - as needed so that banks don't seize up and so that money and credit can keep flowing throughout the financial system.

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